A tiger by the tail

Amendment to wildlife act deferred

Published: Thursday 15 June 2006

Creating the National Tiger Conservation Authority became a distant dream as the government stalled the bill seeking amendment to the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 that would have created the authority. The bill was scheduled to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on May 17. But the government bowed down to groups oppposing the bill.

Announcing the decision, Union minister for parliamentary affairs, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi reportedly said, "The joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the Tribal Bill will make observations in a few days. We will consider them before tabling the Bill". The JPC had been mandated by parliament in December 2005 to review the forest rights bill and is to table its report in this session of the Parliament (see story: Best foot forward).

The bill had been proposed in the wake of the prime minister's Tiger Task Force's recommendations. Besides provisions for a central authority to replace Project Tiger, the bill contained, for the first time, provisions defining contentious terms 'buffer and core wildlife areas'. It also considered protection of tigers and the livelihoods of people in tiger bearing areas outside sanctuaries and national parks.

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